PNC points Visa Credit Card Review

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PNC points Visa Credit Card Review

The PNC Points Visa Credit Card does not rank among our best rewards credit cards. You might find better choices by reviewing our list of the top rewards credit cards.

Full Review of PNC points Visa Credit Card


  • High rewards rate on purchases

  • Points bonuses for PNC banking customers

  • Flexible redemption options


  • Points are worth less than with most cards

  • Points expire and can’t be transferred

  • Not ideal for travel outside the U.S.

Pros Explained

  • High Rewards on All Purchases: The PNC points Visa delivers generous point rewards on all purchases. All purchases get four points per dollar spent. And, unlike some other cards, the PNC points Visa offers a high points earning rate on all categories, with no need to activate or monitor bonus categories to get it.
  • PNC Banking Customers Get Points Bonuses: If you bank with PNC, this card gets more valuable. If you have a qualifying PNC Bank checking account and fulfill the minimum deposit and balance criteria, you may earn 25% to 75% extra bonus points.
  • Flexible Redemption Options: Points earned with this card may be redeemed for a variety of items, including gift cards, hotel stays, and rental vehicles. You may also utilize points to make PNC Pay transactions.

Cons Explained

  • Points Worth Less Than With Most Cards: While you may earn a lot of points with this card, you may not receive as much value for each one as you would with other rewards credit cards. According to Investopedia’s estimations, most credit card points are worth a penny or more. However, we estimate that each PNC points Visa point is worth less than a fourth of that amount—0.22 cents to be exact. With the PNC points Visa offering 4 points for every dollar spent, the aggregate benefits are worth somewhat less than one penny every dollar spent. That is a low rate for all credit card transactions.
  • Points Expire and Cannot Be Transferred: Your rewards from this card expire, but you have a full 48 months from the moment you earn them to lose them. Unlike many other rewards cards, the PNC points Visa does not allow you to transfer points to travel partners. To redeem your earned points for travel, you must book directly via the PNC points rewards system.
  • Not suitable for travel beyond the United States: While you may be interested in redeeming points for overseas flights, you should bring another card with you to make purchases while you’re gone. The PNC points Visa, like many other cards, charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made overseas, which may make using it while traveling outside the United States more expensive than with cards that do not charge such a cost.

The PNC points Visa credit card is best suited to PNC banking users, who may receive up to 75% bonuses on the card’s rewards earnings. These bonuses help to make this card’s fairly standard rewards more appealing and competitive with those of competitors, as the 75% bonus would net 3 additional points per dollar spent, for a total value of approximately 1.54 cents each (higher than the 1.5% cash back cards that are somewhat common in the market).

PNC points Visa Credit Card One-Time Offer

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after making $750 in purchases on a PNC points® Visa® Credit Card during the first three billing cycles after account creation.

Rewards Earning Details

The PNC points Visa credit card includes an easy-to-understand rewards scheme. You will get four PNC points for every dollar spent on approved goods. However, at less than a quarter-cent apiece, those points are worth very little. Within 10 business days, your points will be applied to your account.

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If you have a qualifying PNC bank account, you are instantly eligible for bonus points.

The 25% incentive is automatically applied if you have one of the following PNC accounts: PNC Virtual Wallet, PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Spend, PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Select, PNC Performance, or PNC Performance Select Checking.

To be eligible for the 50% points incentive, you must have a PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Spend or PNC Performance Checking Account and fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • A monthly balance of at least $2,000
  • A eligible monthly direct deposit of $2,000 or more
  • A monthly average balance of $15,000 or more across all of your accounts

If you have either the PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or the PNC Performance Select Checking, you may get the 75% points bonus. You must also fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • A monthly sum of $5,000 or more on average
  • A eligible monthly direct deposit of $5,000 or more
  • A monthly average balance of $25,000 or more across all of your accounts

Rewards Redemption Details

When it comes time to use your PNC points, you have numerous alternatives, including:

  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Apple purchases
  • Travel

Flights and hotels are included in the travel category, as are vehicle rentals, cruises, and holiday packages. The caveat is that you must book your trip via the PNC Points Redemption Center in order to spend your points. Points cannot be transferred to hotel or airline loyalty programs or combined with those from another credit-card rewards program.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Making the most of your PNC points Visa credit card clearly entails using it regularly, regardless of what you buy with it, since every transaction gets a standard 4 points per dollar spent. PNC banking clients, on the other hand, get point incentives that enhance earnings to between 5 and 7 points each dollar spent. If you’re looking for a ba, consider establishing a PNC account to take advantage of these additional incentives. The greater the incentives, the more you retain in the account. The benefits might quickly mount up. Assume your typical annual spending with the card is $24,000, or $2,000 each month. Purchases would earn you 96,000 points at four points per dollar. However, if you qualify for a bonus, your points earnings may look like this:

  • 25% bonus = 120,000 points
  • 50% bonus = 144,000 points
  • 75% bonus = 168,000 points

Average Case

Assume you use your card to pay all of your monthly payments and routine costs, as well as the odd excursion. You do not currently have a PNC banking account.

If you spend $2,500 each month, you may earn 120,000 points per year. If you qualify for the full 75% bonus from becoming a PNC banking account, you might enhance that to 210,000 points within your first year. That would make incentives of $264 without a high balance account worth $462, or more than $100 more if you had a balance of $5,000 or higher.

Aspirational Case

Assume your monthly expenditure is $1,500 greater than in the prior instance, totaling $4,000 each month. You’d get 192,000 points per year if you just earned four points per dollar as a baseline. If you qualify for the 75% points bonus, your total rewards points could rise to 336,000. The awards would be worth $422 if there were no bonus earnings. If you qualified for the 75% bonus, you’d get points worth more than $300 extra, for a total of $739.

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Standard Benefits

  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Contactless payment capability
  • PNC Virtual Wallet Integration
  • Tools for online account management
  • Electronic bill payment

Cardholder Experience

In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study for national issuers, PNC Bank did not obtain a rating. With a satisfaction rating of 817, it tied for first place among regional issuers with BB&T and Huntington.

PNC provides a variety of account management options, including mobile and internet banking, as well as the PNC Virtual Wallet. If you need assistance with your account or have issues, you may also phone, tweet, email, or visit your local office.

Security Features

This card has various useful security features for managing your account. For example, PNC Easy Lock enables you to lock your card to prevent new purchases if it is lost or stolen. PNC Security Assistances safeguards you against credit or identity fraud, and a $0 liability guarantee ensures that you are not held liable for unlawful transactions.

Hidden Fees to Watch Out For

The fees on this card are typical of most other rewards credit cards. Except for the variation in how balance transfer costs may vary depending on how soon after account establishment you perform one, there are no big surprises.

Fees to Watch Out For

The main price to remember is the 3% international transaction fee. If you want a credit card that allows you to earn points while not charging a foreign transaction fee, you should search elsewhere.

Our Verdict

The PNC points Visa provides very small returns. It still pays you with less than a penny per dollar spent with earnings of 4 points per dollar spent, with each point worth less than a quarter of a cent. Almost every other card on the market has a higher earning rate. Even for PNC banking users who are eligible for point incentives, the benefits with this card are small.

This card may be a viable option for PNC banking users looking for a card that is easy to get, even if it provides little in terms of rewards and features. A different card would undoubtedly be a better match for everyone else.

Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing the most accurate credit card advice in the business. We’ll tell you when a card is excellent, when it’s awful, and we’ll only declare a card the greatest if we’d suggest it to our friends or family.

Overall Star Rating Explained

To rank credit cards, we objectively examine, score, and weight roughly 100 unique card characteristics, which are then categorized into five key feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, perks, and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets to get a card’s total star rating:

We have applied our patented grading approach to every widely recognized credit card in the domestic market of the United States, allowing users to make fully informed decisions. It’s crucial to understand that we make a lot of assumptions regarding how you’ll use your credit card when calculating our overall score:

  1. While we make no assumptions about whether or not balances are held on a certain card, we do apply differing weights to all credit cards’ promotional APR (if applicable), as well as the normal, long-term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We use BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points, or miles rewards at a fixed rate on all spending or with bonus rewards for specific spending categories such as gasoline, groceries, restaurants, or travel.
  3. The maximum points value of a rewards card is calculated by dividing the number of points, cash back, or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are chosen as the greatest overall in their respective categories often include the majority, if not all, of the following characteristics:
  • Fees that are low or reasonable Credit card fees may take numerous forms, but the most common are those for annual card membership and debt transfers. There are several reward and non-reward card alternatives with no annual fee, but the cost of the ones that do charge an annual fee is generally justified by their attractive recurring benefits and initial signup incentives. Balance transfer costs are often removed during introductory periods with certain cards, which is a feature that is highly and favorably weighted in our scoring model for cards that provide this advantage. Balance transfer costs, if paid, vary between 3% and 5%, and we evaluate them appropriately. Other regular costs, such as those for late payments or cash advances, may often be avoided, but we assess them compared to other cards in the market for reference, but with less weight allocated.
  • Competitive Motivation Many credit cards provide 0% introductory APR on purchases and debt transfers for varied periods of time before reverting to a permanent or normal APR (based on a variable rate related to the prime rate) that applies to any balances that are not paid in full. The introductory APR % and term (in months) are both rated, as is the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card reward schemes might provide cash back, points, or travel benefits (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs).For cards that give rewards, we calculate the value per dollar spent as well as typical redemption values and award higher ratings to cards that provide greater customer value. We also appreciate sign-up bonuses and their first spending criteria when they are available.
  • Excellent Advantages Concierge service, TSA Pre-check, vehicle rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost baggage help, and free credit scores are all examples of credit card advantages. We grade cards based on the amount and quality of over a dozen standard and upscale advantages, with additional weighting given to travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards where they are present.
  • Excellent security/customer service Security and customer service features like as lost or stolen card replacement, the ability to freeze one’s card through an issuer app, and 24 hour customer assistance are becoming increasingly common in the card industry, and we put a high value on them.
  • You can also read our comprehensive methodology for a more in-depth look at how we evaluate cards and reward the best in different categories.
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